“I am incredibly disappointed to not be heading to Tokyo with Team USA, but you need to be at absolute peak performance to compete at the Olympic level and I am just not there yet,” Love said in a statement released by his agent, Jeff Schwartz (Twitter link).
Love’s concerns about his physical condition stem from a right calf injury that caused him to miss much of this past season. The 32-year-old played in just 25 of the Cavs’ 72 games.
He sat out Monday’s loss to Australia, but Team USA coach Gregg Popovich said afterward that it wasn’t because of injury, notes Joe Vardon of The Athletic (Twitter link). He notes that Love and the Cavaliers were hoping the Olympics experience would help him return to form next season.
Love didn’t see much playing time in the other two exhibition games and “struggled mightily” during training camp, Vardon adds (Twitter link).
Love’s announcement adds to the last-minute chaos for the U.S. team, which lost Bradley Beal on Thursday and saw Jerami Grant placed into health and safety protocols. Team USA officials were already working to fill one roster opening and now will have to address another one.